Category Archives: countdown

One hand left…so close…who I want to be

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Today was my last Thursday of school. As in…the next time a Thursday rolls around I won’t be in school, or the next week or the next… (you get the idea ๐Ÿ™‚

Monday will be my last Monday in school. Wow! There is something incredible about thinking about a Monday morning without having to go to school.

This is my last ‘two day’ weekend coming up. Soon…I might not even think in terms of weeks and weekends, doesn’t that sound delightful.

It might not even really sink in until the fall when everybody else is going back to school. I’m used to summer break but not, not going back in August. Coming to July 1 and not dreading the fact that school is on the horizon…I wonder what that will feel like.

Today I sat outside with children during music time. They played soccer and kickball and were on slides and swings. I watched and listened. Some even came over by me and just wanted to talk one on one or in small groups which was nice. They thanked me profusely for letting them go outside today on this beautiful day. As if I had been torturing them all year long by making them do music in the classroom ๐Ÿ™‚

I knew what they meant. I just wanted to be outside too.

I went to my 8th grade choir class and only had about a dozen kids. Most were gone on a field trip. We just went outside too and hung out and visited. It was so nice. Reminded me of what I love best about teaching…the relationships you build.

I’m definitely on the wind down. Couldn’t be any closer without crossing the finish line. Tomorrow I have one hand of days left. (5 in case you were wondering ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I read a blog post written by Jeff Shinabarger on “Plywood People” about current trends in our culture and one of the trends was the idea of taking a sabbatical or time off of work. I had no idea it was a growing trend. I don’t really know of anybody else doing it. Jeff wrote about how people are realizing they want life to slow down and wanting to re-program the way that they are doing life. I can understand that thought. I feel it.

I want to slow down.

I want to get back to basics.

I want to do less.

I want to be committed to less.

I want to create and do work that is meaningful to me. Work, where I lose all track of time. It’s possible…I know it is.

I want to be healthy, mind, body, heart and soul.

I want to listen more. To be present for others more.

I want to have the time to do whatever it is that I might so easily rush by in my normal busy daily grind.

I want to see what life is like from a different perspective. I’m not sure that I’ve been doing it right or how I want to do it longterm and I need to know if there is a better life waiting out there for me to just rise up and seize.

Today I received a beautiful letter from my mom in law, Martha. She told me that I have a gift of words, a gift of listening, a gift of encouraging, a give of adventure and a gift of passionate living. Sometimes it’s really helpful to have someone who knows us speak truth into our lives. Those are all areas that I want to pursue more.

I want my writing to rise to new levels.

I want to be there for friends and family to listen and ask questions and really get below the surface with them.

I want to be a person who pours encouragement at every opportunity.

A person who is not afraid, in fact embraces some great adventures.

A person who is not on autopilot…but is embracing life passionately, wringing every drop out of this experience.

For me…I believe that means a big change in my life. That’s what this sabbatical is about.

It’s coming. I think I’m ready. Who knows what I will find out about myself as I experience this change. Good or bad I want to move forward in my story.

Single Digits and Last Program

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It’s a big day for me.

I only have 9 days of school left. Single digits feels huge after a year of counting down.

It’s also my last program tonight. The last time I will be conducting, and even the last time I will be watching my youngest daughter perform in this type of a group. I have no idea if I’ll ever return to this portion of my life again. Maybe in a year, but even if I come back I have no idea what job I’ll be walking back into. This could really be it. In some ways…very nice, in others very strange. Change.

It’s also Friday which means jeans ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s still the small things that give me pleasure.

And…I’m on day two of using my juicer. Again….the little things. I have no idea what I’m doing but I’m just going to keep trying out various mixtures of fruits and vegetables and see what seems appealing to me. I’m hoping that it will overall improve my health in ways seen and unseen.

My girls and are also taking a mystery trip this weekend for Mother’s day. Lauren needs the drive time…to get her license in a couple of weeks so we’re going to try and get several of those hours done this weekend. Specifically night hours…so tonight night after my last program we’re heading out. Hoping that traffic will be at a minimum at that time of night.

Mark and I used to drive through the night sometimes. The only downfall to this idea is that I have to actually be awake the whole time this time since Lauren can’t drive on her own yet. We could very well be pulling over sooner rather than later, but if we need to that’s ok too ๐Ÿ™‚

This next two weeks will fly by, in fact I really need to start packing. I’ve put it off so far…but can’t anymore.

Right now it just feels like summer on the horizon…but come August that’s when it will really settle in that things have changed!

two week notices and finishing well

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It occurred to me today that generally speaking when you leave a job you give your two week notice and then leave, often leaving before the two weeks are even over if requested to do so.

So…lets see…I gave my year off plans last September. I figured I would probably be back after a year. I mean taking a year off seemed like a luxury as it was…I couldn’t even imagine at that point that I would consider not going back at all. Although…I have to tell you, I had several people come up to me even back then and tell me they didn’t think I would be going back.

I started counting down time towards my year off. I started this blog.

It wasn’t until February that I reached a point where ย I knew that I had to make a change. If I didn’t make a change I would become the teacher I never wanted to be. Old…miserable…crotchety…you know the type. I don’t want to be her. I could feel shades of her in my soul and knew it was time to rethink and regroup and that in fact this year off was my window of opportunity to make a change. (Cue Michael Jackson’s “Make that Change” ๐Ÿ™‚

I suddenly started planning, hoping, working, dreaming about not going back at all…ever. My replacement was hired and I realized that even if I do go back I won’t be back in my same job. I also realized that the music program could very well be better off without me. You would think this might upset me…but it didn’t really.

I started working towards starting my business “Going Solo” a private voice and piano lesson studio run out of my own home. I now have 9 students. My goal by the fall was originally 10…but now I’ve raised it to 20 :). I’ve discovered that I like this business. I’m good at this business. This business is viable. This is something I could do forever and not grow weary of it. This is important to me. To feel skilled and good at something and also to not dread it. Those are my qualifications for what I want to do next.

So for the last 3 months of this school year…pretty much in some ways without making it official this is my two week notice. My two week notice that is extending for a long time. A test of my endurance.

I’m learning to finish well by having an extremely long finish.

Maybe I’ll be wrong. Maybe I’ll have no choice but to go back…but I find that prospect highly unlikely.

This year started out as a year off plan…it’s become a resignation in my heart. A whole school year is a long time to be living out a resignation letter.